Portuguese is one of the languages that evolved from Latin (now considered a dead language). It has gained popularity as an international language since it is spoken in places other than its country of origin. Being an official language in parts of Africa and the Americas, it is spoken by a significant part of the global population. It is made up of a number of dialects including Brazilian Portuguese, Galician, Beira and Madeira-Azores. The standard version of the language is based on the Southern dialect, otherwise known as Estremenho. This originates from Coimbra and Lisbon.
According to Portuguese Translation workers, the language is spoken by 240 million people, it dominates the communication of Brazilians and the Portuguese. As for Africa, Angola and Mozambique are part of a large group of countries using the language as a communication medium. The USA and the rest of the North American countries also feature large communities which boast Portuguese as a native tongue. The Roman army brought Latin to the Portuguese people during at around 220 BC. Records indicate the existence of Portuguese speakers from the 9th century AD. A decree in the year 1290 saw Portuguese adopted as an official means of communication in the reign of King Denis. The language therefore transformed from its label ‘Vulgar language’.
1916 saw the basic principles of the Portuguese language undergo some changes with spelling taking the same form as pronunciation. Brazil modified its own version of Portuguese in both the years 1943 and 1970. Presently the latter has adopted an orthography that unifies the written Portuguese in all countries that use it as a means of communication.